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Daily Current Affairs 23rd Jan 2018

India-ASEAN Business & Investment Conference held in New Delhi

  • India-ASEAN business and investment meeting hold in New Delhi ahead of the milestone commemorative summit meet on the 25th of January; Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu stresses ehanced connectivity via land to excercise trade jewelry.
  • Silver jubilee of India-ASEAN partnership has been celebrated in New Delhi on the 25th January with an unprecedented summit meet. Nevertheless even before the primary event, several other programmes have been organised.

AP-Zurich sign sister state agreement

  • The Andhra Pradesh Government and the Canton of Zurich on Monday signed a letter of intent, to promote mutual prosperity and development.
  • The agreement was signed in the presence of Chief Minister Naidu by Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu and Government Counselor Minister Carmen Walker Spah for sister state relation.
  • This will bring the State of Andhra Pradesh and Canton of Zurich closer and ensure that a framework is created, which supports the exchange between both the parties.
  • The agreement will further strengthen economic and scientific relations between the two governments in the areas such as Information and Communication Technology, Environmental Technology, Life Sciences and Urban and Regional Development read an official note.

Government launches Protocol for Star Rating of Garbage-Free Cities

  • The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has launched the ‘Protocol for Star Rating of Garbage-Free Cities’ in Goa. it’s been developed beneath Swachh Asian country Mission – Urban for rating cities on 7-star classification system supported multiple cleanliness indicators for solid waste management.
  • These embody Door to Door pickup, supply segregation, sweeping, scientific process of waste, bulk generator compliance, scientific land filling, construction and demolition management, plastic waste management, dump remedy & subject grievance redressal system etc.

International Dam Safety Conference to be held at Thiruvananthapuram

  • India will be hosting the International Dam Safety Conference – 2018 at Thiruvananthapuram on January 23-24. Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala will inaugurate the conference and Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Union Minister of State for of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation will preside over the inaugural function.
  • Dam safety conferences are organized as an annual event under the Dam Safety Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) project being run by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR,RD & GR) in the seven states of Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Uttarakhand.

RailYatri acqui-hires food delivery technology startup YatraChef

  • RailYatri, a Noida-based crowd-sourced platform that provides train-related travel information, has acqui-hired food-delivery technology startup YatraChef.
  • YatraChef’s team will now manage the pan-India supply side of RailYatri’s in-transit delivery business, the companies said in a statement.

India to grow at 7.4% in 2018: IMF

  • India is projected to grow at 7.4 per cent in 2018 as against China’s 6.8 per cent, the IMF said on Monday, making it the fastest growing country among emerging economies following last year’s slowdown due to demonetisation and the implementation of the GST.
  • In its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) update released on Monday in Davos, Switzerland on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, the International Monetary Fund has projected a 7.8 per cent growth rate for India in 2019.
  • Growth rate projections for both 2018 and 2019 remains unchanged since its October 2017 WEO projections.
    China, during the same period is expected to grow at 6.6 per cent and 6.4 per cent respectively, the IMF said.

Paytm launches Business App for merchants

  • Digital Payment startup Paytm has presented ‘Paytm for Business’ application for dealers and organizations to acknowledge installments immediately for zero charges.
  • The application additionally gives organizations a chance to see their exchanges without the need to sit tight for an affirmation SMS or an email. It is accessible in 10 local dialects and has at present been propelled on Android working framework.

Amazon opens hi-tech grocery store without billing counters in US

  • Amazon has launched a checkout-free hi-tech grocery store called ‘Amazon Go’ in Seattle, US. It uses ceiling-mounted cameras to identify each customer and track what items they select, eliminating the need for billing. The sensors detect when products are taken from shelves and maintain a virtual cart. The purchases are billed to customers’ credit cards when they leave the store.

IOB inks pact with National Housing Bank

  • Public sector Indian Overseas Bank today has joined hands with the National Housing Bank for implementation of the rural housing interest subsidy scheme offered under the Ministry of Rural Development.
  • The scheme aims to provide subsidy for loans to households in rural areas for taking up construction and modification activities.
  • The subsidy is offered at three per cent for a loan amount of Rs. 2 lakh and with a loan tenure of 20 years.
    Indian Overseas Bank has become one of the first public sector banks to implement the scheme. The bank would offer the scheme to customers through its 923 rural branches present across the country.

Federal Bank launches chatbot on its mobile app with Niki.ai partnership

  • Kerala based lender Federal Bank has launched a chatbot based virtual assistant in the bank’s mobile application FedMobile in partnership with Niki.ai.
  • Using the Chatbot feature, the users of the app can avail a host of m-commerce services by simply chatting on the application, said the company in a release.
  • Explaining the abilities of the chatbot, the company said that customers can simply type in text to recharge a mobile phone and the application is intelligent enough to pick it up, identify the service provider and recharge the number by debiting the customer’s account. The services it can offer range from ticket booking to recharge, bill payments, movie tickets as well.

China to build intelligent “super expressway”

  • China will build an intelligent expressway, enabling increased safety and higher average traffic speeds, in east China’s Zhejiang Province by 2022, local authorities said on Tuesday.
  • The 6-lane, 161-km freeway linking Hangzhou with Ningbo, is expected to increase the average traffic speed by 20 to 30 percent, slashing the travel time between the two cities from two hours to just one.
  • The new intelligent expressway system will incorporate a monitoring system as well as a warning system to maintain the safety of vehicles while increasing the average traffic speed.
  • It will also include Internet of Vehicles technology, supporting autonomous driving in the future, said Ren Zhong, deputy director of the provincial department of transportation.

New app to help Indians apply for UAE jobs visa

  • In an effort to simplify work visa procedures for Indians seeking to work in the United Arab Emirates, the government launched hassle-free smartphone app.
  • According a media report, the app will allow to complete major part of the employment visa procedures whilst in India, making entry in to the UAE easy for workers.
  • At present the app is available in Hindi and English for Android platforms and plans to launch it in Malayalam are under way considering a substantial number of people applying for work visas from Kerala.

Mumbai Marathon 2018: Solomon Deksisa, Amane Gobena win gold, Gopi Thonakal pips Nitendra Singh Rawat

  • Solomon Deksisa and Amane Gobena made it a double delight for Ethiopia in the $405,000 Tata Mumbai Marathon on Sunday by clinching the men’s and women’s races respectively.
  • Twenty-two-year-old Deksisa broke away from the rest of the field at the 35-km mark and kept his nose ahead for the remainder of the 42.195-km men’s event to lead a 1-2 finish for Ethiopia ahead of 29-year-old compatriot Shumet Akalnaw.

Dilip Chenoy appointed Ficci Director General

  • The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) has appointmented of Mr. Dilip Chenoy as its Director General.
  • Mr. Chenoy has been the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), Director General of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) and Deputy Director General of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
  • He was awarded the Game Changer Award in 2015 and the Rashtriya Media Ratan Award in 2013. He has been a Member of the Governing Council of the Institute of Applied Manpower Research and Member of Germany-India Skills Working Group. He is currently Chairman of Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology and Member, Board of Advisors, IILM.

Somanath takes charge as VSSC director

  • Noted scientist S Somanath today took charge as Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre here.
  • He succeeds K Sivan, who was appointed as ISRO Chairman recently.
  • Somanath took charge at a function in ISRO headquarters Bengaluru, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) sources said here.
  • He is currently the Director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre at Valiamala here, the lead centre responsible for liquid engines and stages for all launch vehicles and satellite programs of ISRO, the sources said.
  • He was the Associate Director (Projects) of VSSC and also the Project Director of GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle.

From footballer to head of state: George Weah takes power in Liberia

  • Former international footballer George Weah has been sworn in as president of Liberia. It is Liberia’s first transition between democratically-elected leaders since 1944.
  • Mr Weah thanked his predecessor, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, for bringing peace to the country after years of civil war.

Superstar Shah Rukh Khan was honoured with the 24th Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

  • Shah Rukh Khan received the 24th Crystal Award for “his leadership in championing children’s and women’s rights in India,
  • Shahrukh received the award along side Elton John and Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett.

Siddharth Singh wins Swedish Open Junior title

  • Young Indian shuttler Siddharth Pratap Singh secured his maiden international title, bagging the Swedish Open Junior International Series with a straight-game victory over Denmark’s Mads Christophersen in the finals here.
  • Playing his first career final, Siddharth defeated Christophersen 21-15 21-11 in a 33-minute match to claim the men’s singles title on Sunday.
  • The 19-year-old from Raipur survived a scare in the opening match against Denmark’s Patrick Bjerregaard, beating the Danish player 21-23, 23-21, 21-15.
  • Siddharth, who has never played outside Asia, will next play in the Iceland International at Reykjavik to be held from January 25 to 28.

West Indies to host 2018 Women’s World T20

  • The 2018 edition of the Women’s World T20 will be hosted by Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana and St Lucia from November 9-24, the ICC has announced.
  • Hosts Windies will defend the title they won with an eight-wicket victory over Australia in Kolkata in 2016.
    Stafanie Taylor, who was named as captain of the ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year 2017, won the player of the series award in India and is expected to once again lead the Windies in front of a passionate home crowd.
  • The three venues were selected by Cricket West Indies through a bidding process and have been ratified by the ICC.

Hugh Masekela, Father of South African jazz, passes away at 78

  • Legendary South African jazzmusician Hugh Masekela has died at the age of 78 after a decade-long fight with cancer.
  • Trumpeter, singer and composer Masekela, affectionately known locally as `Bra Hugh’, started playing the horn at 14 and quickly became an integral part of the 1950s jazz scene in Johannesburg as a member of the Jazz Epistles.


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